The Western Cape Department of Agriculture allocated R73 million to farmers in the province over the last year in an effort to mitigate the effects of the drought on their livelihoods.
The department began initiating disaster management proceedings to free-up the necessary funds and resources for the area as early as 2015 according to Economic Opportunities MEC for the province, Alan Winde.
“The West Coast and the Central Karoo, where agriculture has been particularly hard hit by the water shortage, was declared a disaster in February 2016”, explained Winde. “However, up until this point the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has only allocated R12 million to farmers to buy animal feed”.
The money being allocated comprises a support structure for farmers, as well as the purchasing of Animal fodder to support livestock. However, as more municipalities formalise their drought declarations, more money will have to be allocated towards drought relief programs of a broader nature than just in agriculture.
Winde has mentioned that one such relief plan is to spend R3 million to increase the ability of the Voelvlei Dam to capture rain water by removing weir sand surrounding it.
Winde has, however, appealed to residents to continue curbing their water usage in order to render relief efforts both efficient and fruitful for us all.